St. Clement Danes

St Clement Danes at the Aldwych reopened in 1958 after the repair of its massive wartime damage, and was designated the church of the RAF. Again, Sidwell was called in to restore a wounded musical tradition. Thus began a Sunday routine which saw him direct the music for matins alternately at Hampstead and St Clement Danes, then take in early evensong at St Clement Danes, before the rush to Hampstead for evensong - preceded by choir practice.

At St Clement Danes, Sidwell received approval for the establishment of a nucleus of eight professional singers - expanded as needed - to cope with a round of duties which included all manner of special RAF occasions, from memorial services and statue unveilings to weddings with an aviation connection. Among his singers were the countertenors James Bowman and Paul Esswood. The BBC regularly broadcast mid-week choral evensongs.


The choir of Hamstead Parish Church singing at the reconsecration of St. Clement Danes in 1958

Rehearsing boys from the St Clement Danes school

The 'octet' which fromed the basis of the professional choir at St. Clement Danes - above and below - dates unknown


wedding A recording of the wedding of the Marquis of Tavistock to Henrietta Tiarks, 20th June 1961. Includes 'I know that my redeemer liveth', sung by Barbara Elsey and God be in my head, Walford Davies sung by the choir plus three hymns. A poor quality recording with road noise and much coughing. Transcribed from 12" LP in average condition.
carols St. Clement Danes Chorale conducted by Martindale Sidwell. In dulci jubilo, Up, good christen folk, Gabriel's message, King Jesus hath a garden, Ding, dong, merrily on high, Silent night, I saw three ships, A shepherd's carol, Joseph and the angel, Away in a manger, O little one sweet, On this day. Issued on Marble Arch MAL722. Some surface noise and distortion.
CDSDL356 Music from St Clement Danes. Soloists; Soprano, Lynne Hurst, Trumpet, John Wilbraham, Tenor, John Nixon, Bass, Kenneth Jones, Organ, Martindale Sidwell, Psalm 23, J.S.Bach, Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Choral: How shall I fitly meet Thee (Sung in English). Victoria, O magnum mysterium, F.X.Gruber, Stille Nacht (Silent Night) (arr. M. Sidwell), I saw three ships, J. Eccard, When to the temple Mary went, J. Handl, Adoramus te, Jesu Christe, J Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), Op. 45: V. Ye Now Are Sorrowful (Sung in English),  This joyful Eastertide, Stanford, 3 Latin Motets, Op. 38: No. 2. Coelos ascendit hodie, G F Handel, Let the bright Seraphim in burning row, J. Ireland, Greater Love Hath No Man, Gigout, Toccata in B minor. Choir personnel; Lynne Hirst, Sally Dunkley, Robin Barda, Alan Giles, John Nixon, Peter Bamber, Kenneth Jones, Mark Wildman. Saydisc CD-SDL356. Available from Nimbus Records or as a download at classicsonline.
catalogue/product.aspx?pid=687593. 1985 recording, worth having for the thrilling perormance of the too rarely recorded Ireland.